Worldwide eSports viewer numbers 2018-2023, by type

The eSports market has boomed in recent years with more and more viewers tuning in to watch their favorite games being played by some of the best gamers in the world. By 2023, there are expected to be almost 300 million frequent viewers of eSports worldwide, a vast increase from the 173 million in 2018. Additionally, some 351 million people are forecast to be occasional viewers of eSports by 2023.

eSports in the U.S.

There were an estimated 25.7 million eSports viewers in the United States in 2018, a figure which is projected to rise to over 46 million by 2023. This means that, by 2023, an estimated 15.5 percent of internet users will be watching eSports at least once per month. This is a considerable number for an industry that was once considered to be a niche section of the gaming market. While the potential for the eSports industry in the United States is huge, it is nothing compared the market size in Asia Pacific. According to the estimates, over half of the world's frequent eSports viewers and enthusiasts can be found in Asia Pacific, compared to just 12 percent in North America.

Leading eSports tournaments

The most watched eSports event as of January 2018 was the 2018 Mid-Season Invitational League of Legends tournament. This tournament was hosted by Germany and France and recorded 60 million unique viewers. With millions of viewers tuning in to watch expert gamers battle it out, it is unsurprising that large sums of money are at stake. The International 2019, which was the ninth edition of the annual DOTA 2 world championship, had a combined prize pool of over 34 million U.S. dollars. In addition, the cumulative prize pool for DOTA 2 tournaments around the world in 2019 stood at a huge 47 million U.S. dollars.

eSports audience size worldwide from 2018 to 2023, by type of viewers

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Release date

April 2020



Survey time period

2018 to 2020

Supplementary notes

* Forecast.

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